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Robert E. Young

1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Robert E. Young Obituary
Robert E. Young

Virginia Beach - Bob Young, 86, a retired social worker, teacher, psychotherapist, war resister, and body surfer, died quietly at home on January 31, 2018. A lifelong advocate for race relations, peace, and social justice, Bob expressed himself through poetry and frequent letters to the editor. He was an idealist who was committed to his community, and he dealt with pancreatic cancer in the same way he dealt with all adversity with an open mind, a quiet calm, and an admirable combination of fight and acceptance.

Bob was born in Philadelphia in 1931. His parents, Jewish immigrants from central Europe, set an example of social activism and community engagement that remained with him throughout his life. He spent his early years in Philadelphia and New York, earned a BA at Penn State in 1953, was drafted into the army the same year, and used the GI Bill to earn his master's and doctorate degrees at Bryn Mawr (1957) and the University of Pennsylvania (1971). Among the many experiences that influenced him were participating in the Encampment for Citizenship.

A resident of Virginia since 1970, Bob was a clinician, teacher, and community organizer. He taught at VCU, Norfolk State, ODU, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. Whether running a methadone clinic, cofounding the One Love Festival, or counseling troubled families, Bob's focus was helping others.

In 2011, Bob published If Not Now, When, a book of poems that serve as a lasting reminder of his passion for social justice, keen powers of observation, facility with words, and sense of humor.

His wife and partner, Marguerite (maiden name Ulrich), died in 2015. He leaves three children from his first marriage to Emily Kimball (Josh, Kim, and Susan); two step children from his marriage to Marguerite (Cynthia and Mark); and two grandchildren (Caroline and Xavier).

A memorial to celebrate Bob's life will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to the Virginia Beach Friends Meeting, PO Box 4371, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

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Published in The Virginian Pilot on Feb. 4, 2018
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